Baby’s First Birthday Toy Haul Review

Hello, friends! As some of you may know, I wrote a 3 part series of reviews for all of the toys that Liam got for his first Christmas (if interested, here’s Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). Well, his first birthday was less than a month later, on January 23rd, and he got some great toys! About a week has passed, and we have had time to thoroughly explore and play with all the new toys, and I thought it would be fun to do another toy haul review! Unlike my Christmas toy haul, I’ll be doing just one post for these reviews, as I am only doing 6 toys.

As with the previous posts, I will post the name and link for each toy, as well as an image. Beneath these, I will be using a 4-star system, rating each toy on their:
Attractiveness: Colors, shapes, detail, and how well it captured and kept my son’s attention.
Interactivity: Age settings, movement, how much can he do with it, etc.
Noise: (If applicable) Music, sounds, volume control, sound quality.
Quality: Flimsy plastic, not baby-proof, etc.
Overall Score: A mix of my opinion and my son’s opinions.
I will also list Pros and Cons.

Here we go!

1. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Table
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Attractiveness: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Interactivity: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Noise: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Quality: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Pros: Amazing learning toy! Very interactive. Power and volume control, as well as four ways to play (learning time, Spanish, music time, and play time with real sounds). Very colorful and eye-catching. My son attacked it and wanted to play before I had even put it together. The piano keys are our favorite!
Cons: None!

2. Bizzy Square – The Buckle Toy
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Attractiveness: 🌟🌟✰✰
Interactivity: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Noise: N/A
Quality: 🌟🌟✰✰
Overall: 🌟🌟✰✰
Pros
Colorful, soft material. The back has several numbered tabs that baby can lift to reveal animals. Clips are very easy to clip and un-clip, great for babies who like to play with and chew on clips, with little risk of pinching their fingers. Comes in several colors/characters.
Cons
Toy is smaller than it appears in pictures, has a cheap feel for the price.

3. Fisher-Price Little People See n’ Say
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Attractiveness: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Interactivity: 🌟🌟✰✰
Noise: 🌟✰✰✰
Quality: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Overall: 🌟🌟✰✰
Pros: 
Colorful. Features a variety of animals, a song option, and a little game.
Cons: 
Lever is a bit difficult for my 12-month old to pull, and can be awkward. So power or volume control, and volume is VERY loud. Animal noises are unrealistic and sound a bit weird.

4. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Speedsters, Monkey & Sis


Attractiveness: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Interactivity: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Noise: 🌟🌟✰✰
Quality: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Pros: 
We have the full set of 3, and they make excellent learning tools, that double as great, cheap toys, and my son loves them. Colorful and eye-catching. Move very smoothly.
Cons:
No power or volume control. The volume on the Monkey car is much higher than the other two, and his voice is very shrill. I actually get headaches from that little green car.

5. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Tablet
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Attractiveness: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Interactivity: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Noise: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Quality: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Pros:
Great learning tool, features power and volume control, as well as 3 stages of learning. Each button has the option of saying the letter, character/object, and the sound it makes. Plays several different songs, different on each learning setting. Lights on top and sides light up in several, bright colors.
Cons: 
NOT a touch screen, which is fine, but baby does need to press a bit on the buttons, which seemed to put my kiddo off a bit. When you are playing with the alphabet buttons, it randomly cuts you off and plays music, which is a bit annoying.

6. Mega Bloks Jeep Lil’ Off Roader Building Set
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Attractiveness: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Interactivity: 🌟🌟✰✰
Noise: N/A
Quality: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Pros:
Instantly caught my son’s attention in the store. Great size for toddlers. Looks like a realistic, tiny Jeep! Comes with 7 pieces, which includes a little removable character, and 6 Mega Bloks blocks. Blocks can be played with on their own, or can be arranged on the roof of the Jeep.
Cons:
Very basic, limited interactivity. A bit expensive for what little it does.

There you have it! I have to say that my favorite toy is definitely the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Table. I love how many settings it has, and I actually really enjoy composing short piano pieces with the 4 colorful piano keys. Liam loves the piano keys, too, and plays with me! I’d say his favorite toy is probably the Learning Table as well, but he is definitely a fan of his Mega Bloks Jeep, as well as his Fisher-Price Tablet (but only if I’m using it with him), and his Fisher-Price train that he got for Christmas, of course!

We are really loving all of the Fisher-Price learning toys! I love toys that have multiple learning stages, and look like “real” items that mommy and daddy use, and these are all just fantastic! I hope this helped out a few folks out there who are hunting for gifts for little ones!

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Holiday Toy Haul Ratings (6-36m): Part 3

Hello, friends! It has been a busy time here on my little blog! I started doing the daily writing prompt (you can find them here), and it has started to get my creative juices flowing again. I missed writing just to write!

I decided that now would be a good time to add another part to my list of toy ratings from Liam’s first Christmas! His first birthday is in just two weeks, and I’m sure he’ll get all sorts of fun toys, so there will be at least once more part to this series. So let’s get rolling! I’ll be doing another 5 toys today… kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel now.

Just like last time, I will post the name and link for each toy, as well as an image. Beneath these, I will be using a 4-star system, rating each toy on their:
Attractiveness: Colors, shapes, detail, and how well it captured and kept my son’s attention.
Interactivity: Age settings, movement, how much can he do with it, etc.
Noise: (If applicable) Music, sounds, volume control, sound quality.
Quality: Flimsy plastic, not baby-proof, etc.
Overall Score: A mix of my opinion and my son’s opinions.
I will also list Pros and Cons.

1. B. One Two Squeeze Blocks
blocks
Attractiveness: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Interactivity: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Noise: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Quality: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Pros: Colorful and cute. Each block has a number, a textures design, and an animal, corresponding to the number. Blocks squeak when squeezed, but it isn’t super loud. Blocks are easy to clean, and work well as teethers. Can be played with in the bath!
Cons: When you first get them, they are covered with a strange, greasy substance, which is difficult to wash off. I had to scrub each block with soap, water, and an old toothbrush before giving them to my son.

2. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Speedsters, Puppy
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Attractiveness: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Interactivity: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Noise: 🌟🌟✰✰
Quality: 🌟🌟✰✰
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Pros: Such a cute toy! Button lights up when pressed, and says the ABC’s, as well as several other phrases. There are actually 3  characters, and each one teaches something different (Monkey teaches shapes, Sis teaches numbers), and there is also a speedway you can buy for them. Cheap, fun toy!
Cons: No volume control, toy is a bit loud. Wheels are loud on hard surfaces. Feels cheap, but for the price, I’m not complaining!
** Edit: Liam got the Monkey and Sis cars for his birthday today, and he loves them! The sound on Monkey seems to be MUCH louder and sharper compared to Puppy and Sis, but if baby is happy, I’m happy!

3. Disney The Good Dinosaur Arlo and Spot Activity Ride On
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Attractiveness: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Interactivity: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Noise: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Quality: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Pros: One of Liam’s current favorites, as you can see! Several buttons and levers (including tiny “piano” keys) for baby to play with. Lever makes dinosaur’s head move when pulled. Lightweight and easy to push around. Very sturdy.
Cons: No volume control, no on/off switch. Assembly was a bit of a pain.

4. Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks
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Attractiveness: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Interactivity: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Noise: N/A
Quality: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Pros: Honestly surprised by how much Liam loves this timeless, classic toy! The shapes are sturdy and bright, and he enjoys playing with it by himself, or with me. He knows how to put the shapes in, and enjoys shaking the container around and making noise when it is full. Another one of his favorites, and it is such an inexpensive learning toy! I had to give it all the stars!
Cons: The lid comes off very easily. Not a big deal, but I wish there were some sort of simple latch.

5. IONIX Jr. PAW Patrol, Adventure Bay Block Set
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Attractiveness: 🌟🌟✰✰
Interactivity: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Noise: N/A
Quality: 🌟🌟✰✰
Overall: 🌟🌟✰✰
Pros: Compatible with Mega Bloks, which we planned on buying him for his birthday! Sticker decals come unattached (except for two, which are already on the blocks). Colorful and easy for baby to grip.
Cons: NO INSTRUCTIONS, I had to look up videos on YouTube. My son had no reaction to these after a couple minutes, and still wants nothing to do with them. We haven’t watched Paw Patrol, so that may have something to do with it. A bit expensive, only a few dollars cheaper than Mega Bloks, but with less pieces. So far, we’re not fans.

There you go! Hope you guys are enjoying this little series of mine. I thought about doing videos on my YouTube channel, so you could get a better idea of how a little one would play with them, but I don’t know how it would work out. That just about does it for Liam’s new toys, but he should be getting more for his birthday! Look for more ratings in the future!

Thanks for reading!

Jan

Holiday Toy Haul Ratings (6-36m): Part 1

Hello, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and got to spend some quality time with your friends, loved ones, pets, or even some quiet time with yourself. We had a pretty good Christmas on this end. We celebrated our Christmas on the 24th, and went to Kyle’s mother’s in the afternoon to open presents with the rest of the family, after opening presents at our house. It was loads of fun!

Liam received lots of fun, learning toys, so I decided that I wanted to post a multi-part toy haul series, telling you about the toys that he got (all in the 6-36 month age range), and what we think of them after playing with them all. Just in case anyone needed any gift ideas for their little ones, or other peoples, in the future!

The reason I chose to do a series is because we have one more family Christmas to go to in January, and then Liam’s first birthday (omg!), which is also in late January.

I will post the name and link for each toy, as well as an image. Beneath these, I will be using a 4-star system, rating each toy on their:
Attractiveness: Colors, shapes, detail, and how well it captured and kept my son’s attention.
Interactivity: Age settings, movement, how much can he do with it, etc.
Noise: (If applicable) Music, sounds, volume control, sound quality.
Quality: Flimsy plastic, not baby-proof, etc.
Overall Score: A mix of my opinion and my son’s opinions.
I will also list Pros and Cons.

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As you can see, he is pleased with his haul! I will only be rating the toys today, and not any of the books or his toddler learning kit. We’ll see if I do those in the future. I will be rating 5 toys today!

1. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy
k2-_560785b4-9f33-489e-ae88-0eca8afe5e6f.v1
Attractiveness: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Interactivity: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Noise: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Quality: 🌟🌟✰✰
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Pros: 3 levels of play, grows with your baby. Good learning tool for body parts and colors. Has over 50+ songs, phrases. Colorful. Heart lights up. Volume control.
Cons: Flimsy material, not sturdy. Looks and feels a bit cheap. Can feel the sound discs in the hands, feet, and ears, which makes it less cuddly that it appears. Sound is a bit high-pitched, even with the volume on the lower setting. We already have the My Pal Scout toy, but Puppy seems slightly less popular in our household.

2. Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Rock-a-Stack
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Attractiveness: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Interactivity: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Noise: N/A
Quality: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Pros: Colorful and timeless. Rings double as durable teether. Caught baby’s attention, and he squealed happily when he got the rings on by himself.
Cons: Base is not flat, it is curved, which makes it tip over easily when baby tries to put rings on.

3. B. Toys HiPhone
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Attractiveness: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Interactivity: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Noise: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Quality: 🌟🌟✰✰
Overall: 🌟🌟✰✰
Pros: Personalized message recording, touch screen that reads off numbers, several realistic messages and songs. Looks like a “real” phone, caught baby’s attention. No volume control, but volume is lower than other baby toys I have seen.
Cons: Price on Amazon is very expensive, but you can buy from Target for around $10. Cheaply made. The Home button and Record/Play buttons stopped working less than an hour after opening. They now work only occasionally. The phone is for ages 18+ months, but doesn’t appear to do well with baby drool. As of yesterday, half of the lights in the screen stopped working. Baby has since lost interest.

4. VTech Musical Rhymes Book
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Attractiveness: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Interactivity: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Noise: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Quality: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Pros: Caught and kept baby’s attention immediately and is a current favorite. Parent can play and read with baby, or baby can play alone without issue. No volume control, but noise is not too loud. Very colorful. Two play settings for music or story. Several classic nursery rhymes, as well as instrumental noises. Pages turn and have objects to move on each page. Buttons are colorful and easy to press. Volume control.
Cons: None.

5. Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Puppy’s Smart Train
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Attractiveness: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Interactivity: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Noise: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Quality: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Pros: Another very fun favorite (for both of us). Volume control. 3 levels of play, including colors, shapes, and the alphabet. Comes with 3 removable figures, and two train parts, and no assembly. Very interactive. Train can be set to move across the room while singing the ABC’s, and baby loved to crawl after it. Fun learning toy.
Cons: Frog figure is a bit small, despite being a 3-36 month toy. Baby did put it in his mouth, but was not able to fit it in entirely. Be watchful with smaller toddlers.

So there you go! I hope this helped give you guys some ideas for future gifts (or post-holiday exchanges). We’ve been having a lot of fun learning and exploring! I can’t wait to post more.

Happy holidays, and thanks for reading!

Jan

Take A walk With Jan #5

I’m sticking true to my word, guys! I promise! It was a balmy 51 degrees outside this afternoon when Liam woke up from his nap, so we went on another walk!

I won’t bore you with all the details, as it was pretty uneventful, aside from a stop at Dollar General to get a bulb syringe for kiddo’s stuffy nose, and an annoying teenage boy catcalling some high school girls. However, I did want to share a few pictures from our stop at the park! We go to the park each time we go for a walk. Half of the time, we only walk through, but sometimes we like to sit on the benches and rest, or use the baby swings. Well, when we went today, we discovered that they had already taken all of the swings down for the winter! I was so disappointed, but then I realized that Liam is 10.5 months old, and he had never been on the actual playground.

So we decided to have some fun!

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He had a blast. We played on the tinier of the two playgrounds, which contains three different slides, climbing bars, a merry-go-round, and various other playground things. He had never been on a slide before today, so I decided to take it slow, and let him sit at the top of the middle slide (I was inches away). He seemed to like it, so I grabbed his little hands and pulled him slowly forward. He immediately started squealing with delight. After a few more trips down (one of which was on my lap), we moved to one of the curved slides, which he liked even more.

After several trips down the slide, we headed over to the merry-go-round, where I sat him on my lap, and I slowly turned us with my feet. He wasn’t as audible with his enjoyment, but he had a smile the entire time. I, on the other hand, became quite nauseous, so we had to stop.

Finally, we climbed up onto one of the playground platforms, where we sat and played with the spinning learning panel, and he practiced climbing up and down the little step to the next platform. It was so much fun.

On our way home, we were approached by a teenage girl who was walking her gorgeous Syberian husky through the park. She complimented Liam on his red, plaid hat, and asked if we wanted to pet her dog, who was a very patient, female puppy. Liam LOVES dogs, and she assured me that this dog gets along well with her two younger siblings, so I let him reach out of his stroller to pet the dog on her back, and she was so good! He was absolutely elated. We said goodbye to the girl and her beautiful dog, and continued on our way home, a bit more hurriedly, as it was nearly 4:30, and the sun was setting.

Winter is crazy, man!

I’ve been looking into getting an insulated weather shield for our Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Stroller, so that we can continue our walks even when it gets really cold. It has been tricky, since our jogger is pretty large, but I did find this one on Amazon, which claims to be universal. The comments confirm that it should fit our stroller! I’m trying to convince Kyle to buy it for me for Christmas.

Fingers crossed!

I hope you all had a fantastic day. Thanks for reading!

Jan